February 22, 2010

Why Americans love the Dalai Lama – watch him on LKL tonight!

Posted: 01:10 PM ET

He's been decorated with awards and called one of the world's most influential people. He's addressed packed auditoriums and waved to crowds who line streets just to catch a passing glimpse of him. He's shaken the hands of countless global dignitaries and earned a fan base following on Facebook that might rival that of Hollywood stars.

He is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the 74-year-old spiritual leader of Tibet and the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, based in Dharamsala, India. And though he describes himself, according to his Web site, as "a simple Buddhist monk," the love so many Americans and others have for him has, no doubt, bestowed on him iconic status - whether he sees it that way or not.

"I'd love to be in his presence. I'd love to be in an audience where he speaks," said Jerilee Auclair, 55, of Vancouver, Washington, who has yet to have that pleasure. "I yearn for it. I watch his schedule to see if/when he'll be in my area. ... I love what he stands for. His inner peace inspires me to find mine, daily."

She's far from alone in her admiration.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday, the same day the Dalai Lama visited the White House, showed that 56 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of him, putting him "in the same neighborhood as other major religious figures," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Favorable ratings for the pope, at 59 percent, and Billy Graham, at 57 percent, are virtually identical."

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Filed under: Dalai Lama • Larry King Live

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Stein Arne Fossum   February 22nd, 2010 1:50 pm ET

Thank you so much for honoring His Holiness Dalai Lama. The injustices of China can no longer be ignored. As a Norwegian I live in a free country that had the privilege to award His Holiness the Nobel peace prize. Our freedom is hard earned as we only became a free nation a little more than 100 years ago. Then we got occupied for 5 long years by Nazi Germany during WW2. Thanks to the support of the allies and our courageous resistance movement, we are today free. Free to speak up against injustices like China's suppression of the Tibetan people. As us they are small and cannot get their freedom without help from the just nations of this World.
To honor that it is my duty to be an admin in the FREE TIBET group, the largest on Facebook. After being mentioned on CNNs web pages before Christmas, we grew with 20 thousand members to almost 210 thousand today. And we are still growing with hundreds every day! Everyone may join.
Again, thank you for helping to get the World aware of this grave injustice.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 22nd, 2010 2:08 pm ET

The current Dalai Lama is getting up in the years. What happened to his successor? A few years ago he was supposedly found in Tibet and the Chinese military swooped in to kidnap him. He has not been heard from since! Then the Chinese rolled out 'their' golden child who they claimed would be the successor to the Dalai Lama!

Why hasn't CNN and News Media investigated and spotlighted this horrific military abuse on Tibetan affairs by China? The story reads like King Herrod swooping in to grab and murder Jesus, only its in the year 2000 and King Herrod is the Chinese ruler with his military.

Cultural genocide should not be permitted in this day and age, regardless if the ones doing it are the Chinese military, Christians in Haiti, or the Missionary's in Africa!

sam   February 22nd, 2010 9:23 pm ET

yes Smith I definetly agree with you! I trulybelive if Larry king actually investigated this topic it would be a breakthough to many viewers of how China's gov. Truly is! However I guess some journalists don't want to go against china's government or anger them in any way. 😦 what a shame it would be great to hear of this being investigated.

Theresa   February 22nd, 2010 2:46 pm ET

I think people admire the Dalai Llama because he represents peace, tranquility, with a great sense of humour. I'm not educated re: him. I've heard comments re: the Dalai being friends of the Nazi's,wnting to keep the Tibetians as slaves. My thoughts ar ehe would've been very young pre & during WWll. My thinking maybe that might have beenprotocol with previos Dalai Liamas. Someone told me to look up Dorje Shugdens –so I guess I should. I type too fast –then I omit letters–I'm too lazy to delete incrrectly typed words.

Mary Griffin   February 22nd, 2010 2:58 pm ET

I do not know why the health care issue is not put to a vote by the people. I do not believe we are being told the truth by either party. I can,t believe that the public do not want to do something about health care.

X   February 22nd, 2010 3:52 pm ET

Shut up you americans. You don't have rights to vote on Tibet issues. It's none of your business!

A. Smith, Oregon   February 22nd, 2010 4:40 pm ET

The US Army white wash is simply pathetic over 27 Afghanistan civilian women and children killed by a air-strike on their caravan. The excuse for the bombing of a caravan of civilians fleeing the war is 'someone thought they were Taliban fighters going TO engage American and Allied Soldiers'.

That's total BS! The caravan was clearly traveling AWAY from the fighting. And if American's here at home believe NATO soldiers are handcuffed by the supposed DO NOT ENGAGE anyone that is not firing a weapon nor armed with a weapon, this civilian caravan should NEVER had been bombed nor targeted. NONE of these women and children had any weapons whatsoever!

Yes, tragic events like this happen in wars. Given the supposed NATO rules of engagement, this should never had occurred period. NONE of these women and children could even remotely be considered to be a threat, they had no weapons, they fired no weapons.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 22nd, 2010 5:28 pm ET

Just stop the war and let everybody off. The U.S. military cannot be trashed over this incident..Who the hell was busy shoveling apologies for the tens of millions of civilian casualties of the last century of wars.

Has war become more civil, that we now assail the member's of our military sent to do what will, no doubt, torture them for decades. We are going to prosecute them them for acts required to appease those who sent them there.

We view from afar and assume that the ENEMY has a certain look, a certain smell, a distinct persona, all easily detected.

There has, and still are, acts committed by little beautiful and benign children, prompted by cowardly obscure enemies, that are just as deadly as an AR-15 fired point-blank in your face or a grenade shoved up your attitude!.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 22nd, 2010 5:45 pm ET


Both our statements are off-point..You struck a nerve, you have before, and you deserve much more, in the way of direct critical comment, than you have received. I politely ask you to measure you opinions a little more carefully, before you dump them out on the world. You have the right to say what you feel is valid even invalid, but what I smell is just the vapor of verbal flatulence, unsubstantiated by your own experiences. That leads me to believe you are a fiction writer, sedate and repose in your fanatical attempts to gain attention. Yes, you raise the hackles on the back of someone like me, but even I will discard your contributions as less than TWEENY!

Bob1209   February 22nd, 2010 5:45 pm ET

It's simply brain-washed by Propaganda. Who can teach us to be humble, especially on foreign affairs?

Joe G. (Illinois)   February 22nd, 2010 6:02 pm ET

It’s not uncommon for a person to seek a purpose in life.. But I as a Christian I do not approve of the Pope.. The Dalai Lama "As they claim to be living embodiments of God on earth."

LapCat   February 22nd, 2010 6:39 pm ET

Would teleological and naturalistic enlightenment conflict, the LapCat asks? Could both exist on the same plain or would rationalism take place? Or would the verboseness of puritanical judgment erode whatever enlightenment could have taken place?

pearl   February 22nd, 2010 7:08 pm ET

free tibet!

Maria   February 22nd, 2010 7:13 pm ET

Here why Americans "love" Dalai Lama, because media never reported the opposing voices

Frank   February 22nd, 2010 8:37 pm ET

This morning the CNN Poll "Should Tibet be an Independent Country?" results were 88% YES, 22% NO. This afternoon, suddenly the results are 59% NO, 41% YES.

I wonder if the Chinese Government is mobilizing their minions to influence the vote? At a Dalai Lama speech last year at the University of Michigan, I saw hundreds of Chinese students trucked in to ring the auditorium with a jeering mob. None of them were from the area, or even knew what the Dalai Lama was speaking about (World Peace).

I wish the Chinese Government would stop harassing him and cease their physical and cultural genocide in Tibet. Stealing land is one thing, but systematically destroying an entire culture out of spite is quite another.

Bai Rui   February 22nd, 2010 10:14 pm ET

How much do you know about Chinese history? How much do you know about anything other than what Americans are interested in hearing? There were many other nation-states that were conquered by what became China as a country now along the history and you Americans only know about Tibet because it was brought to your attention.

Why should any country do what American think is right to do? Why do you Americans think China cares what you think? There are a lot of things that are wrong in China, and China is 10 times shadier than you think, but only the internal force can change it. Keep saying whatever you want to say, but it is not going to change anything unless the Chinese want to change.

Alan   February 22nd, 2010 11:17 pm ET

Guys, have u ever been to China before? How much do u know China's history and national policies? If u got no investigation, u got no right to say!!! Old Chinese says: To listen to both, u will get enlightened, to listen to only one side, u may make mistakes.Don't be so naive!

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 22nd, 2010 11:43 pm ET

He is captivating. He is to be admired. You can say a man standing on principle.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 22nd, 2010 11:48 pm ET

I think the Dalai Lama mentioned it himself at the end of this interview, that there are restrictions and other bloggers have mentioned this also.

Jackson   February 23rd, 2010 12:29 am ET

do you notice how desperate the Chinese are here? they are posting things using the same names of people who earlier posted pro tibet comments. To you chinese here, instead of arguing about Tibet I want to ask How old are you?!

JHXF   February 23rd, 2010 3:17 am ET


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 23rd, 2010 6:42 am ET

@ Bai Rui February 22nd, 2010 10:14 pm ET

Great comments.

I thought I knew about Chinese History, but not really. I think it has an old history. Maybe I need to go and do some research. Should be interesting.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 23rd, 2010 6:47 am ET

I wouldn't call the Dalai Lama a God. He is more a deity I think.

jason   February 23rd, 2010 8:11 am ET

I think Americans love dalai lama because they know nothing about China or Tibet and they are fooled by this old monk. I am from China mainland and I am not satisfied with the situation of the human right in my country. But at least I can get a access to this website. Issue on Tibet to Chinese have nothing to do with human right . Just think about it, if there is someone in the world who promotes California‘ independence or Texa's independence , will you Americans be so pleased to agree with this guy? I don't think you will. So it is to Chinese. It has nothing to do with human right. It is about my motherland's basic interest ,dignity and glory. So wherever or whenever this issus is discuessed, we Chinese will always say no, and we don't need our goverment to tell us to do so.

Luxin   February 23rd, 2010 9:10 am ET

You are idiot and megalomania.
For those who blame China and Chinese government, have you even been to China, have you even been to Tibet yourself? Have you even seen any place of China with your own eyes? Do you know what the life looked like when Tibet was under Dalai's control?
I'm a Chinese living inside China. I didn't send by our government. I came because a friend told me that stupid American make a vote for Dalai again.
The only thing I can say is that the western world we know is much closer the true than the China you know.
Dalai is nothing but a politician, a exiled one. Nothing are holy in politicians' game.
Don't give any word of Tibet until you can figure out the exactly point of it in a world map.
What a idiot race American is!

BrotherBill   February 23rd, 2010 12:29 pm ET

We love him because it P*sses-off the Godless Chinese. Too bad we sold our souls (if not our souls then just our Butts), to them, it would have been great to watch that horrible House of Cards fall down.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 23rd, 2010 12:58 pm ET

To the young disciples of the Asian persuasion!

It's good to see your desires to aggressively discuss the importance of the Dalai Lama in your country. I have noticed CNN gives you more freedom to go beyond the boundaries they set in this forum; and some even wander beyond moral decency to express your views.

They certainly would NOT allow me to say, what you have freely been allowed to say. Enjoy that latitude, however, it would not be in your best interest to look less, than the intelligent people you are.

One thing the American people do, in your favor, is respect the level of intelligence the people of China display. Why would any of you do anything to alter that? Isn't it like cutting your nose off to spite your face or shooting yourself in the foot?

Regarding the Dalai Lama, he is not important to the well-being of our country and most people do know China has made him a headliner in the world media.

As you will see, he comes and goes on and off the world stage. One day he will not return and the people's of China will still have to resolve the sovereign desires within your country.

Do not think for a heartbeat, the U.S. will intercede in that division, I believe it appears to be more of a division between church and state to them. Maybe, one day the deciding factor will be decided at a ballot box, than on a battlefield. Good luck to all of you!

narerann   February 23rd, 2010 4:41 pm ET

why are the people get more and more stupid? u just read the newspapers, watch the CNN news. They teach u how to think and what to think. u just the toys of the media. As a matter of fact, u guys know nothing about China and Chinese history. Why don'y u read some books, which are really true, really old. that will tell u , tibet is a part of China for thousands of years. this is totally different with German Nazis. just think about it, if one of american states says, we are not belong to the USA, we are independent. and all of the world support that. what will u guys think???

Stein Arne Fossum   February 23rd, 2010 6:34 pm ET

nareann, Please don't call people stupid because they disagree with you. You are way out of line also on your "historical facts". Tibet was never a part of China for thousands of years! Tibet has been independent from China. In fact China has historically been under Tibet for a period. Note that Tibetans are ethnically different from Chinese; they also have a totally different culture and language. They even have a totally different calendar. How could all that be if they were under China for thousand of years? The fact is that Tibet was invaded and occupied by China about 60 years ago, just like Nazi Germany invaded Norway. That is historical facts, no more, no less. The comparison with The German National Socialism (Nazism) doesn’t stop there. The same propaganda is also there: “Repeat lies till they become the truth”,. Add to that: Suppression, torture, jail and killings of all opposition, refuse free speech, etc., etc..

韩国无敌思密达   February 24th, 2010 1:28 am ET


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 24th, 2010 2:46 am ET

In the end we have all come from one place.........ADAM & EVE.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   February 24th, 2010 2:49 am ET

And I forgot to add.......... and RETURN TO ONE PLACE in the big scheme of things.

Donald L Allen   February 24th, 2010 4:20 am ET

ABOMA I don,t no or you saying you as a American have more right then I do what you mean I gonna pay four it you mean I don't deserve the same chance as a black man or just what do you mean you mean ween you called me ween you realise I was not a black man you made a ma stick and BY the way you don,t no me so I get you out how want to judge me you need to first no and than say I,V not got the right to judge you no get a life ILL do what I want and ween I want to do so you no I,M not def PS OBAMA don,t tell me what I can or can not do it nun of your after see you have a good Life or a Bad one I don,t care ether way PS ween they say help hady they meet you how much have you give or how much of my moon have you give and it not a ma stick Donald L Allen see you

Donald L Allen   February 24th, 2010 4:21 am ET

ABOMA I don,t no or you saying you as a American have more right then I do what you mean I gonna pay four it you mean I don't deserve the same chance as a black man or just what do you mean you mean ween you called me ween you realise I was not a black man you made a ma stick and BY the way you don,t no me so I get you out how want to judge me you need to first no and than say I,V not got the right to judge you no get a life ILL do what I want and ween I want to do so you no I,M not def PS OBAMA don,t tell me what I can or can not do it nun of your after see you have a good Life or a Bad one I don,t care ether way PS ween they say help heady they meet you how much have you give or how much of my moon have you give and it not a ma stick Donald L Allen see you

Donald L Allen   February 24th, 2010 4:27 am ET

Larry King I hop you like my Love letter I just want the US to no I,M a American and I have the same right as they do as a American if they can get help form the people of the US way can I not do the same as they do as a American how did they get were they or if it not so tell me I want to no it a joke and they better not count the chicken be for they hack that is all I have to say four now see you Larry King PS Donald L Allen

A. Smith, Oregon   February 24th, 2010 4:40 am ET

@ Jessie from Auckland, NZ

The New York Times published in April 13, 2008 answered this question sometime ago for its many readers, namely that Tibet was a independent country long before China constructed its 20th-century Chinese identity of Han.

Tibet did submit to the Mongol and Manchu Empires, neither attached Tibet to China. The same documentary record that shows Tibetan subjugation to the Mongols and Manchus also shows that China’s intervening Ming Dynasty (which ruled from 1368 to 1644) had NO control over Tibet. This is very problematic, given China’s insistence that Chinese sovereignty was exercised in an unbroken line from the 13th century onward. The documentary records clearly show otherwise.

The idea that Tibet became part of China in the 13th century is a very recent construction. In the early part of the 20th century, Chinese writers generally dated the annexation of Tibet to the 18th century. They described Tibet’s status under the Qing with a term that designates a “feudal dependency,” not an integral part of a country. And that’s because Tibet was ruled as such, within the empires of the Mongols and the Manchus. When the Qing dynasty collapsed in 1911, Tibet became totally independent once more.

From 1912 until the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, no Chinese government exercised ANY control over what is today China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The Dalai Lama’s government alone ruled the land until 1951.

Marxist China adopted the linguistic sleight of hand that asserts it has always been a unitary multinational country, not the hub of empires. There is now firm insistence that “Han,” actually one of several ethnonyms for “Chinese,” refers to only one of the Chinese nationalities. This was a conscious decision of those who constructed 20th-century Chinese identity. (It stands in contrast to the Russian decision to use a political term, “Soviet,” for the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.)

There is something less to the arguments of both sides, but the argument on the Chinese side is much weaker. Tibet was not “Chinese” until Mao Zedong’s armies marched in and made it so.

Tibet WAS INDEPENDANT BEFORE Mao's armies marched on Tibet and in the future Tibet will once again be INDEPENDANT of China.

narerann   February 24th, 2010 6:48 am ET

@Stein Arne Fossum

i can not believe that u guys always think what u know is right. how do u get this "Knowledge"?? from some english book? come on, when we have books, there is no america. why don't u learn some chinese? why don't u come to China to see the truth by urself? why don't u come here and see the old books which are already thousands of years? u said, tibet has different culture and language. but do u know,how many languages and culture do we have? not only mandarin! u use english, can man say that all the americans belong to England? in ur way, different languages, different countries. so what? the same language, the same country?

we have 5000years history, we have 56 minority. we kept different cultures and languages for them because we respect our people, respect our cultures,respect our country! but u don't understand that, because u lived only in the USA, u have no right to judge it before u see it by ur own eyes. remeber 14.Mar.2009? is that the DALAI called" Peace"? do u know how many people get hurt ? just because they believe DALAI ,so they don't need to care about the other people's life? there were a little boy, the PLA saved him, but ur news said, the PLA kidnaped him. how could ur medien lie like that? u think that's funny to asperse another country? u always think, oh my country tell us the truth of everything,and the chinese gov. lied everything to the citizen. but u know,we always know the truth,but u guys even don't know ur media lied to u. our gov. works for people, works for the whole country, but ur, i don't say all of them, but most of them just work for the rich people.

come to tibet, and see how the people live, and ask everyone what they think, not only the normal citizen, but also the Monk. they will tell u the truth. we are not North Korea, u can go around wherever u want, u can take pictures and videos as u wish. but pls ,tell the truth to ur friends and the people around u after that. tell them do not only follow the TV news or newspapers, which give u a tiny sky.

Stein Arne Fossum   February 24th, 2010 8:30 am ET

You don't know where others have been. Personally I've been in China several times. I've also lived for 3 years in the region. I know the Tibetan history well as I got it from Tibetan dignitaries and refugees who fled from the Chinese invaders. These are Tibetans who lost their loved ones through torture, executions and mass murder. I know very, very well how the suppressed people of Tibet feel in their heart. To go to Tibet and ask people who are under constant surveillance and who risk jail, torture and even their life, if they tell the truth is meaningless deception.
What you do is "parroting" (repeating like a parrot) the "truths" decided to be the Communist regimes official version, also called propaganda. That doesn't become the real truth then, after or ever. You cannot repeat lies until they become true. Nobody believes in your propaganda in the free World. FREE TIBET!

Stein Arne Fossum   February 24th, 2010 8:35 am ET

@ A. Smith, Oregon

Thank you for your excellent account of Tibetan history.
May cite this in the Facebook Group FREE TIBET? Everyone who support our cause are of course invited to join. We are now close to 210 thousand members. Look for the group by searching FREE TIBET at Facebook.

narerann   February 24th, 2010 9:44 am ET


totally agree with u

narerann   February 24th, 2010 10:42 am ET

@Stein Arne Fossum
if u say so, prove it! i don't think it will be so hard if what u said are true. right?

the people been tortured? who tortured them? u see it or u heard it? why don't u prove it? hm? and who tortured the people in iraq? there are so many pictures , videos and criminals. the captives are also humanbeing,aren't they? how many people did u kill? how many families did u distoried? just for the interest of the usa, u can start a war to another country? that's the peace u want? that's the human right they have?

tibet is our family thing, it has nothing to do with the friends who are on the other side of the earth. doesn't it?

i have more than 14 friends come from tibet. my family sends money to one of the poor families everymonth, just help their children to get education, help them to live. that's what we do, and what did u do, beside saying this "opinions" here?

if there is no PLA, there is no school there, the children will never have the opportunity to know how to write. did u see the Qinghai-Tibet railway? that's a miracle in the world. u can't deny it. did u ever try to work so hard all day at that kind of place, in that situation? u don't even have enough oxygen. but we made it .we build the airport and the railway, because we want the people all over the world can come and see what the tibet looks like,and how people lives. we don't hide something. u go to north korea, they don't allow u to take the photos, u can just go to the place where they want to show u. but did we do the same?

the PLA helped them to build the family, teach them the knowledge,support them the technology.the gov. gave them money to repaint and repair the Potala palace. and u said we don't respect their faith?

did u ever see how confortable DALAI lives? and how poor the people under him? when i was there, i even cried. we helped them for nothing ,but DALAI just wanna be the king. my brother in law died in 14.Mar, he was protecting 4 kids to get out of the fight. PLA protect people, when ur army killed iraqi. and u talk about the human right? and the peace? it's so unfair ! how dare u?

when they say something, u think the gov. forced them or threaten them. u don't believen them, because people heard what they wanna hear, people saw what they wanna see. but not being neutral.

not because we keep saying it, and that becomes true. but because it's true, that's why we keep saying it !

Renato André   February 24th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

Free Tibet! Long live the Dalai Lama!

narerann   February 24th, 2010 2:37 pm ET


Stein Arne Fossum   February 24th, 2010 6:06 pm ET

If you read before you write you would have discovered that I am Norwegian not from the US. There is overwhelming evidence that Tibet never was a part of China before China invaded and occupied it. Furthermore there is overwhelming evidences by first hand witnesses, that killing, torture and jailing together with breaches of basic human rights are going on in Tibet. As a citizen of the free World who enjoys all the basic Human rights, including freedom to chose, freedom to speech, freedom to vote and freedom from being prosecuted if in disagreement with the government, I am indeed privileged. In is hence my duty as a human being to speak against regimes like the Chinese, which massively denies it's people these basic Human rights. It really scares me that China already is a superpower in this World. I hope all other free men and women, all over the World to see the true face of China that you have demonstrated so well. I hope they wake up and see the immense threat to everything we believe in and take for granted, if China would rule in this World. That means their influence in the World has to be limited. That can only happen if just men and women speak up and demand that their governments take action against that threat. Of course with non-violent means like His Holiness Dalai Lama promotes, in the spirit of Gandhi, King and Mandela. Today economical and political means are the right means.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 5:01 pm ET

Free and Independent Tibet! Long live the Dalai Lama!

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